CBSE to hold 2021-22 board exams in 2 sets
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) said on Monday it will conduct two sets of board exams, one between November and December and the other between March and April 2022, for students in Class 10 and 12 in the current academic session 2021-22 to prepare for any “unprecedented situation” that could arise because of the Covid-19 pandemic next year.
The students enrolled in the current batches of classes 10 and 12 will have to appear in two sets of board exams in the academic year divided into two terms, each covering half the syllabus.
The board cancelled the Class 10 and 12 exams this year after the massive second wave of the pandemic hit the country, with students being assessed using alternative assessment methods. The board ended up cancelling some exams last year as well.
In a notification issued on Monday, CBSE director (academics) Joseph Emmanuel, said: “The syllabus for the academic session 2021-22 will be divided into two terms by following a systematic approach by looking into the interconnectivity of concepts and topics by the subject experts and the Board will conduct examinations at the end of each term on the basis of the bifurcated syllabus. This is done to increase the probability of having a Board conducting classes 10 and 12 examinations at the end of the academic session... The syllabus for the Board examination 2021-22 will be rationalised similar to that of the last academic session to be notified in July 2021.”
At the end of the first term, CBSE will conduct the first examination in a flexible schedule between November-December 2021, with a window period of 4-8 weeks. “The question paper will have Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) including case-based MCQs and MCQs on assertion-reasoning type. Duration of the test will be 90 minutes and it will cover only the rationalized syllabus of Term I only (i.e. approx. 50% of the entire syllabus),” the notification added.
The question papers will be sent by CBSE to schools along with the marking scheme and the exams will be conducted under the supervision of the superintendents and observers appointed by CBSE. Marks of the first-term exams will be contributed to the final overall score of students.
Similarly, CBSE will conduct another examination covering the remaining 50% of the syllabus between March and April 2022 at examination centres fixed by the board. “The paper will be of two hours duration and have questions of different formats (case-based/situation based, open ended- short answer/ long answer type)... In case the situation is not conducive for normal descriptive examination, a 90-minute MCQ based exam will be conducted at the end of the Term II also. Marks of the Term II Examination would contribute to the final overall score,” the CBSE notification said.
The board has also announced measures it will take in worst-case scenarios. For instance, in case the pandemic forces a complete closure of schools during November-December 2021, but the second-term exams are held, the MCQ based exam will be conducted in online or offline mode from the residence of the students. “In this case, the weightage of this exam for the final score would be reduced, and weightage of Term 2 exams will be increased for declaration of the final result,” the notification read.
Similarly, in case the situation of the pandemic forces a complete closure of schools during March-April 2022, but first-term exams are held, then the results will be based on the performance of students in the said exam and internal assessments.
In case both the exams are not conducted at centers/schools due to the pandemic and students have to take exams at home in offline or online modes, the notification said: “The result would be computed on the basis of the Internal Assessment/Practical/Project Work and theory marks of first and second term exams taken by the candidate from home in Class10 and 12 subject to the moderation or other measures to ensure validity and reliability of the assessment.”
Several principals of CBSE-affiliated schools in Delhi welcomed the board’s decision. Ashok Pandey, director of Ahlcon Schools, said: “This will reduce the stress of the final board exams on the students. It will allow continuous assessment. If a situation like this year happens again next year, there will be no issue in assessing students and preparing results.”
Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School in Rohini, said: “It is to be appreciated that the board has come up with a Plan B for the current batches of board exam students. It is much needed and will keep us prepared in advance in case the Covid-19 situation gets worse again.”
After the exams were cancelled this year, the board devised a criterion to assess Class 10 students on the basis of their performance in internal exams, pre-boards and practical exams. For Class 12, the board will assess students on the basis of their performance in final exams in Class 10 and 11, and Class 12 internal/pre-board exams with the weightage of 30:30:40 respectively, along with the marks in practical exams.